⭗ REDIRECTIONS III ⭗
⭗ STATION 57 ⭗
Situated on a great plain of fragrant and vaguely citrusy crystalline dust, Station 57 is a relic from an age so long past that no one remembers what it was originally built to monitor.
At a distance, the station blends into the surrounding landscape almost until you come right up on it, and can easily be mistaken for a boulder or the shell of a great and ancient mollusc from the days when this place was a shallow, silver-red sea.
The station's one resident is a gregarious cybernetic gargoyle named Dallas who may be as old as the station, but due to regular memory dumps to save on precious engram storage space, even Dallas cannot say for sure. He has a gregarious personality, but he often comes across as forgetful and eccentric. The station he lives in shows the wear and tear of centuries, and the most regularly trod paths are the shiniest, replaced by recycled sheets of steel whenever his pacing starts to wear through them.
Dallas is a collector of samples of exotic radioactive salts, and he keeps a small collection in the sealed reactor room, which he has arranged by radioactivity. Of course, he forgets that most people are still susceptible to radiation (he himself is immune to it) so he is more than happy to show off his collection to anyone he comes to trust enough that he believes they will not steal from him. If a new sample unlike anything in his collection is brought to him, he will seek to trade to acquire it, but he has nothing of value except the station itself, so he will happily dismantle a console or two if it means he can get his hands on a new sample for his collection. He won’t leave the station for any reason, and even he doesn’t know why, other than that it’s his duty to stay.
Station 57 is composed of five levels, most of which seem to have been research laboratories and residential facilities originally meant to house a few hundred people, but Dallas has mostly gutted these and repurposed the materials to keep the station sealed and running. The highest level is a small, circular monitoring hub crammed with consoles. Despite being a loner, Dallas is a gracious host who is always willing to take in strangers, even though he has no means to provide food or water for them, only shelter and a (mostly) quiet place to sleep. Sometimes, he sings forgotten hymns late at night because he likes the acoustics in the gutted and empty galley. The only reasons he would turn someone out would be if they are violent or if they steal from him. He has no patience for either, and is not above using what appears to be a disintegration ray (it’s actually a teleporter pistol that deposits the target five miles west of its current position) on anyone who breaks these rules.
A clever mechanic with knowledge of post-singularity electronics can reprogram one of the stellar weather analysis consoles in Station 57 so that it scans for, tracks and gives basic details on orbital objects, facilities, entities and debris. This is, generally speaking, difficult, and takes 1d4 days of work. Failures just mean that there are parts missing, which can probably be acquired elsewhere.
Dallas will not interfere with the reprogramming process. Instead, he will be curious, and if asked, will help however he can, but he lacks the skill set needed to do the most delicate work.
The information provided by a reprogrammed console includes navigation details, so that if one has access to a way to leave the planet, they could (theoretically) intercept a regularly orbiting point of interest with the data that Station 57 provides. Each day, the console will catalog a new point of interest. Use the table below to determine what point of interest the console has found on a given day.
1. Organic Object: possibly a living space habitat, or the corpse (or nest) of one. Moon-sized, junk-eating organisms, space whales, alien-corrupted starships, boltzmann brains or things even more unique and terrifying.
2. Debris: space junk, clouds of bolts, storms of shattered lift crystals, trash, frozen bags of waste, or the remains of attack satellites that destroyed each other.
3. Wreckage: Vented orbital habitats, torn-up starships, large debris, butchered skychurches, cored freighters and the like. There have been a lot of short battles up there over the last several million years, so there are a lot of very different kinds of ruins to explore.
4. Habitats: Space colonies, whether large or mundane. Starbases built into the sides of mined asteroids and captured comets. They could be operational and fully staffed or abandoned. Ark ships and O'Neill cylinders can be found up there as well, along with the remains of at least a dozen different species’ versions of interstellar gateways.
5. Enigmatic Objects: Unidentified objects that have life and intelligence, but that defy classification. Fast-moving starships darting in and out of the atmosphere. Great motherships making detailed studies of the world below. Comets with rocket engines and probing sensors. Transcendental post-humans frozen in prisms of lift crystal.
6. Minerals: Captured and passing asteroids with no visible artifacts or life to them. Interstellar mountains of exotic ice. Engraved monoliths of black stone. Continent-sized shards of perfect glass. House-sized chunks of nickel and iron.